I have had no country since November 1918… That was the time when Austria was literally carved into pieces. Mangled. Quartered. One shred they held up in sheer mockery and called it Austria. That’s what you children have been taught to call Austria… Heaven my young man, is like Austria, the old, real Austria…
-Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Black Banners
One hundred years ago today the last bastion of Catholicism and patriotism was brutally torn apart by famine, revolution, and military force. And just yesterday, this very year, a major world leader proclaimed that in fact that very Patriotism was right all along, and that the nationalism which replaced it was the betrayal of all nations. One hundred years ago the symbol of the ideal of government which served the universal Common Good was lowered from the flagstaff for the last time. How many hundred years more must we wait before it is raised again? Now when we fear the loss of our civilization more than ever, the very embodiment of the West lies forgotten and mourned only by a few. And we few who mourn cannot seem to find her memorial anywhere on this earth, and as the shadows lengthen around us, we seem to hear as if a far-off whisper, “Why seek you the living among the dead?”
Now is the time not only to remember, but to look forward. Yes, it is true that we no longer have a living remnant of the old order of Christendom, no Holy Roman Empire to stand firm against the onrushing tides of war. The tattered and starved armies of the last Emperor faded from the fields a hundred years ago after the treacherous armistice of Villa Giusti. Yet if ever in your heart you had the least sympathy for a mankind unified in peace on earth and glory in Heaven consider this: losing the war never stopped these men from living and dying for this cause time and time again. The last Catholic empire was in ruins, its people betrayed by their own “representatives”, flags of blood replaced the red-white-red and sable-gold of older, better days. One young man, named Karl, despite threats to his safety and his very life, refused to surrender the solemn duty of the Imperial Crown. He alone took on the responsibility for peace, as he always had, while the self-proclaimed republic stood by, watching the ruin of their own fatherland. And another, younger man named Karl, refused to give up his allegiance to his Emperor, an allegiance which ultimately cost him his life.
If these two great men, and countless others, can still hold to the ideal of a universal Good, what excuse do we have for abandoning it in our own time? Many of the old guard who still remembered the old Austria, the real Austria, died in the fight to end the terrors of nationalism and totalitarianism. Many also lived to see the evils they fought destroyed. If we bow before these resurgent evils, is it not merely because we have lost all the hope and strength that these men bore undying to their deaths? All is not lost, we have more cause for hope than they ever did. A new era is dawning, and the choice is drawing near. Some of us have made the choice to stand firm like the Old Austria and the old Christendom, and face whatever evils this new day will bring. The people are already beginning to see and to fear the future these tides will bring them. We can be the light, we can stand firm in our convictions and ideals, and show them the path that while narrow, leads to salvation.
Yes the world we live in desperately needs salvation. It always does, and it is always our part, as Catholics, as Christendom, as Austria to bring the world to her true savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ. I stand here at an empty tomb, like the one which the Holy Women found so long ago. I called this my requiem for Austria, but the truth is Austria is not dead and has never died. Austria lived in Karl, in his son Otto, and in all those who lived and died for her cause. Austria lives today in the new Karl, in his son, and in this very Movement. The fire may lie dormant in her embers, barely sparking to life these past hundred years, but nevertheless this fire still burns. Out of this fire more glorious than any phoenix, radiantly lit by the sun and with a true spirit of nobility, the Eagle of Austria will rise once more. When it will rise I cannot say, but the sacrifices of all those who suffered the terrible years of the downfall of the Old Christendom have laid an unshakable foundation, a foundation which cannot be destroyed. Already the old countries of the Holy Crown are coming back together, and Blessed Karl’s life offered that his peoples be reunited with each other was not offered in vain. We have a chance now to bring the ideals, the principles, and the glories of the Holy Roman Empire to a new age and a new generation. Old Austria lives on in us, and through us she will become new. Long live Austria, long live Christendom, and the future we may yet bring her!
The one and only meagre hope: Europe once dominated by the false Empire will be enmeshed in the true Empire.
-Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Black Banners
I go gathering Christian men
From sunken paving and ford and fen,
To die in a battle, God knows when,
By God, but I know why
-G.K. Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse